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Sarah on Mar 01, 2014

Cruises to Northern Europe: Culture, History and Scenery in the Far North

 

Northern Europe is a somewhat vague term, encompassing the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, and Germany, Poland, and possibly even the British Isles. The ports of the area are filled with centuries of history, new and different cultures and food and fascinating natural features- from the fjords of Norway to the Stockholm archipelago and White Nights in St Petersburg.

 

There is so much to do and see on a cruise to Northern Europe - we have picked out a few highlights!

 

The Ports: Highlights of Northern Europe

Norway's stunning fjords are a huge drawcard for cruise lines. Plenty of cruise lines run cruises there, often from Southampton. The coast on the Norwegian Sea is riddled with fjords, mountains and glaciers which serve up beautiful scenery without passengers needing to even leave the ship. Ports of call include Geiranger, Flaam, Bergen and Stavanger, also charming cities and towns perched amongst the imposing scenery of the region.

 

Beautiful Norwegian fjords

Cruises to Northern Europe are not lacking in big-city sophistication. Copenhagen in Denmark is a wonderful example of European urbanity, a metropolis with endless shopping, eateries, music, art and people, and yet friendly, with remnants of small-town Europe still in evidence. Stockholm is another cosmopolitan cruise port, with a spectacular approach by ship through the thousands of islands making up the city's archipelago. This city mixes classical and modern with aplomb. On Russia's Baltic coast, St Petersburg adds to the urban fun, with its huge number of beautiful historic buildings. Much of the central city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the extensive Hermitage Museum is a must-see for any visitor, with its world-class collection of art, treasure and antiquities. The Netherlands' Rotterdam also welcomes the occasional cruise ship, as does Amsterdam, the multicultural and vibrant capital.

 

Colourful Copenhagen

Smaller cruise ports in Northern Europe include the minor cities and towns along the way. Sassnitz and Warnemunde are German seaside resorts, offering gateways inland into Germany. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, boasts a medieval Old Town. Another port is on Visby, Sweden's gorgeous "Holiday Island". Different cruise lines include these and various other small ports on their itineraries.

 

The Cruises: Northern Europe Cruise Deals

The length of a Northern Europe cruise, along with the cruise line used and the destinations, is simply a matter of preference. There are plenty of options for cruising the delights of the North.

Royal Caribbean, Princess, MSC and Celebrity all run some cruises to the region, of varying lengths- some explore the Baltic in-depth, whilst others are a jaunt to Stockholm or Copenhagen with a few stops along the way. Cunard and P&O UK are major players in the Northern Europe cruising market. These British lines offer a range of itineraries, from the ever-popular Norwegian Glaciers to short and sweet breaks. Cunard even includes Iceland in some cruises, an often overlooked Northern Europe cruise destination.

For those looking for luxury, Azamara Club Cruises are a good option. Their cruises often depart from Stockholm or Copenhagen, right in the Baltic Sea. This reduces time spent at sea and offers the opportunity to explore the area further by land, prior to or after the cruise.

 

Take a look at the variety of Northern Europe cruises available and find yourself an unforgettable holiday! 

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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